Vehicle emissions are one of the primary contributors to the slew of harmful greenhouse gases responsible for bringing about our current state of climate change. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, whenever a vehicle burns one gallon of gasoline, about 20 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) are produced. A little more than 22 pounds of CO2 emissions are produced for every gallon of burned diesel. In 2013, an estimated 1,522 million metric tons of CO2 was produced by vehicles alone.
Fortunately, lowering vehicle emissions is one thing you and I can do something about. We can take certain steps to reduce our driving emissions. These six ways will not only help give us the opportunity to improve the air we breathe, but to minimize the greenhouse gas effect as well.
1. Reduce idle time: When you leave your car idling, your vehicle is emitting carbon dioxide for no reason. Yes, it is true that idling while sitting at a stop light or in traffic is something we cannot necessarily avoid, however you can eliminate idling in other situations. Anytime you are planning to be waiting in your vehicle for at least 10 seconds, it is more gas-efficient and less harmful to the environment to shut your vehicle off and restart it once you are ready to drive.
2. Carpool or ride share at least one day a week: If you are able to carpool or ride share to work at least one day a week, it is recommended you do so. In cases where that seems all but impossible, look for public transportation options or other forms of biofriendly transportation. Taking your vehicle off the road for only one day a week can make a difference. Then just imagine the impact which could be had by all vehicle owners opting to park their rides for at least one day a week.
3. Use a proven liquid fuel catalyst: For those of you who do not own an electric or hybrid vehicle, Green Plus® liquid fuel catalyst is a simple, yet proven way to reduce harmful vehicle emissions, improve engine power and increase fuel economy. It works at a molecular level to make your vehicle drive cleaner and greener.
4. Drive smarter, not harder and faster: When you are driving, you need to remember to ease up on both the gas pedal and brake. Do not be so quick to rapidly accelerate from a stopped position or come to a screeching halt at a light. Drive a little bit slower than you normal might and a little smarter too. If you are able to accelerate gradually and minimize braking, you can dramatically reduce the emissions your engine puts out. You will also put a lot less wear and tear on your vehicle’s engine and brakes.
5. Conduct routine maintenance: A vehicle is not going to operate at its most optimal level forever, but there are actions you can take to help your vehicle run at its best. Routine maintenance is one of the most important of these actions. Get your vehicle’s oil changed, tires rotated, fluids capped off, and be sure to get regular tune-ups. Taking this one step alone can make your vehicle run more fuel-efficiently and can reduce its emissions. Routine maintenance can also save a lot of money, as if you keep your vehicle well-maintained, it will break down less and require fewer repairs. You and your loved ones will also be much safer.
6. Opt for a hybrid or electric vehicle: Although not everyone may be able to pick up and buy a new hybrid or electric vehicle right now, those who are in the market for a new car should consider opting for a hybrid or electric vehicle. A full EV can save around 4,000 pounds of CO2 emissions yearly, as compared to a conventional gas vehicle, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Even a hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) or a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) is expected to save between 3,000 and 4,000 pounds of CO2 emissions.
U.S. Energy Information Administration: How much carbon dioxide is produced by burning gasoline and diesel fuel?
Environmental Defense Fund: Attention drivers! Turn off your idling engines
U.S. Department of Energy: Emissions from Hybrid and Plug-In Electric Vehicles
Vehicles heading into the sunset image by Tambako The Jaguar via Flickr Creative Commons license